During the Labor Day holiday I was in San Francisco visiting some friends who live in the city (Market and 8th if you’re familiar). I typically like to drive everywhere but, if you’ve ever been to San Francisco a parking spot is a rarity. So, I decided to try something new and download the Lyft app. I’ve heard a lot about ride share programs before online and have seen the ads, but I had no idea how they worked until now. Here’s how you can get a ‘Lyft’:
- You download the Lyft app on your iPhone or Google Android
- Set Up your Lyft Profile with your name, a picture of your choosing, and credit card info
- After you’ve set up your profile you’re ready to request a ‘Lyft’. When you’re ready you can do so by simply clicking a button on your phone. In the app, it’ll show you how far your nearest Lyft driver is.
- After you push the button to request your Lyft driver it’ll make you call your driver directly. Each time my driver answered they were nice, courteous, and they were there within 5-10 minutes after I called them.
- When you get in the car, they’ll ask you where you want to go and if there is a preferred route you’d like to take (so you can take the GPS, your own directions, etc). My drivers were AWESOME!
- Once the ride was done, I hopped out of the car and on my Lyft app a screen showed up that had a suggested rate for each of my rides. The suggested rates already had tips built in and I could even rate my driver! The rates were reasonable and I felt like the drivers were similar to friends I’ve known for a while, which contrasted greatly to taxis that have minimum rates/charge per mile and drivers that aren’t always as nice. One of the cool things about the app was that it allowed me to reduce or increase my suggested rates.
- One of my drivers actually mentioned that drivers could also rate their passengers so that Lyft would make sure that neither would have to be matched together again if there was a mutual dislike of the experience. If one passenger got down-rated my numerous drivers, they could eventually be booted out of Lyft altogether!
I used Lyft a total of 3 times while I was in San Francisco, and I was so impressed that I referred 3 of my friends that weekend to download the app, which one of them was able to make use of that same weekend! Lyft gives first time user codes that range from $10-$20 in savings, so your first ride or two might even be free! Lyft drivers also undergo a rigorous screening process that includes verification of driving status and comprehensive insurance, so you can feel at ease when getting into one of their cars. Lyft has also recently expanded rapidly to numerous cities across the U.S., including Atlanta! So, try it out, save money for parking, gas, and of course that occasional unnecessary DUI!
Cristina Briboneria, CFP®, ADPA®, AWMA®
Vice President, Private CFO®
oXYGen Financial, Inc.
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